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(LEAD) S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases stay over 60,000 amid concerns of winter surge

All News 15:00 November 30, 2022

(ATTN: ADDS more details in last 3 paras)

SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases remained over 60,000 on Wednesday amid lingering concerns that virus infections could accelerate during the cold winter months.

The country reported 67,415 new COVID-19 infections, including 85 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 27,098,734, according to data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Wednesday's tally is down from the 71,476 reported the previous day. It is also smaller than the 70,306 tallied a week ago and similar to the 66,567 from two weeks ago. The corresponding number was 62,466 three weeks ago.

The South Korean government has warned of the emergence of new variants during the winter and asked people to get updated booster shots, designed to protect against omicron variants.

People aged 18 years or older whose latest vaccine shot or recovery from COVID-19 have passed 90 days are eligible for variant-specific booster shots.

The KDCA reported 52 deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 30,506. The number of critically ill patients came to 472, down by 19 from the previous day.

While the growth in daily infections has slowed in recent days, the KDCA said it was working with health institutions to handle as many as 200,000 COVID-19 patients a day, in case the virus picks up steam again.

The reproduction rate, which represents new infections estimated to stem from a single case, was 1.01 on average for the fourth week of November. The number was 1.09 for the third week of October and has since gradually declined.

The health authorities, however, voiced concerns over a possible spike in infections, citing the emergence of new variants, waning vaccine efficacy and more activities indoors in winter months.

A woman walks inside a coronavirus testing center near Seoul Station in central Seoul on Nov. 28, 2022. (Yonhap)

A woman walks inside a coronavirus testing center near Seoul Station in central Seoul on Nov. 28, 2022. (Yonhap)


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